Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Visual thinking explained by Temple Grandin

This is one of the best explanation of visual thinking and its relation to autism spectrum disorders.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures - MIX Videos

The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures - MIX Videos: "The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures"

Visual thinking is important to presentation and planing a presentation is vital to communication and persuasion. Dan Roam explains this so much better than I do.  Follow the link to see the full presentation.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What we teach them now will stay with them forever

So I'm a big fan of Sunni Brown and the visual thinking methodology.  I was looking at the Gamestorming website and found this ignite presentation.  Ignite is a fantastic presentation style for middle and high school students because it forces them to plan out what they are going to say and how they will present their information visually.  As I watched the video I was astounded by thew teaching conventions that we use and how they will be used by our students as they continue to be life long learners.  Watch the video and see how many of your teaching techniques you can find.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Visual Presentation Takes All Forms

I am beginning to realize that Hans Hosling is more than just a genius at population his presentations constantly make me rethink the way that I present to my students.  Ikea presentation technology is absolutely brilliant.  My mind is reeling at the classroom possibilities.

See for yourself in the TED video below.

The 21st century American Scholar

I picked this up years ago in college and allowed it, both by necessity and privilege, to become the mantra for my educational life.  As we move forward toward a reinvention of education through digital technology it seems to me very important to remember that the reason we do all of this is to teach students about the world the will inherit. That world is not inside the screen in front of you.  You're staring at the cave wall.  Emerson had it right in 1837.  The computer is the new textbook, and rather than let the Whiteboard take over the class it should be used as a tool for situations when you can't put the students and into the natural world.

"Undoubtedly there is a right way of reading, so it be sternly subordinated. Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Books are for the scholar's idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, — when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining, — we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, "A fig tree, looking on a fig tree, becometh fruitful."
It is remarkable, the character of the pleasure we derive from the best books. They impress us with the conviction, that one nature wrote and the same reads. We read the verses of one of the great English poets, of Chaucer, of Marvell, of Dryden, with the most modern joy, — with a pleasure, I mean, which is in great part caused by the abstraction of all timefrom their verses. There is some awe mixed with the joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had wellnigh thought and said. But for the evidence thence afforded to the philosophical doctrine of the identity of all minds, we should suppose some preestablished harmony, some foresight of souls that were to be, and some preparation of stores for their future wants, like the fact observed in insects, who lay up food before death for the young grub they shall never see.
I would not be hurried by any love of system, by any exaggeration of instincts, to underrate the Book. We all know, that, as the human body can be nourished on any food, though it were boiled grass and the broth of shoes, so the human mind can be fed by any knowledge. And great and heroic men have existed, who had almost no other information than by the printed page. I only would say, that it needs a strong head to bear that diet. One must be an inventor to read well. As the proverb says, "He that would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry out the wealth of the Indies." There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world. We then see, what is always true, that, as the seer's hour of vision is short and rare among heavy days and months, so is its record, perchance, the least part of his volume. The discerning will read, in his Plato or Shakspeare, only that least part, — only the authentic utterances of the oracle; — all the rest he rejects, were it never so many times Plato's and Shakspeare's.
Of course, there is a portion of reading quite indispensable to a wise man. History and exact science he must learn by laborious reading. Colleges, in like manner, have their indispensable office, — to teach elements. But they can only highly serve us, when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and, by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame. Thought and knowledge are natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing. Gowns, and pecuniary foundations, though of towns of gold, can never countervail the least sentence or syllable of wit. Forget this, and our American colleges will recede in their public importance, whilst they grow richer every year."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson